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a seat in commercial health

3 February 2014

The commercial health team (as its name partially suggests) carries out a wide variety of commercial and corporate work within the health sector, with clients ranging from NHS Foundation Trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to independent health care providers.

I am currently over two months into my seat and already have been involved in a wide variety of work. It is this variety in particular that distinguishes the team, providing experience advising on public procurement projects, commercial contracts and corporate transactions.

Within these areas, the work ranges from providing short pieces of advice on clients’ contractual or commercial queries (one example being for a NHS Trust client carrying out paediatric post-mortem services for a Local Authority who wished to know whether they could move cadavers to different premises than those stipulated in their contract!) to acting on large corporate reorganisations for private health care providers. Advising on public procurement matters is also a key element of the teams’ work whereby I’ve already been involved in the initial stages of a local NHS Trust’s planned outsourcing of key elements of it’s support services to the private sector.

For much of this work, I am involved from the outset right the way through the process – effectively running some of the matters under supervision. I draft the engagement letters, scope the fee estimate, carry out any necessary research and draft the advice / necessary documents. On larger, more complex matters my role is limited to assisting but the team encourage my input as much as possible and I am readily invited to client meetings and seminars where ever possible. The team are all supportive, friendly and approachable and are more than happy to answer any questions (even basic ones!) I have.

As the sector is a growth area for the firm, I’ve also had the opportunity to become involved in business development. As well as researching and helping prepare for pitches to new clients, I’ve already given a short presentation to CCG clients at the monthly corporate governance meetings which we host at Mowbray House (this is a meeting whereby local CCGs meet to discuss any corporate governance or legal issues they are facing) and plan to present again at the next.

As a result of all this I feel like I’ve already learnt a lot in a short period of time. The team has provided me with some great support and opportunities so far and I hope to continue to get more involved and develop my understanding of the sector in the remainder of my seat.